Finance and Technology Research Centre (FTRC) has awarded both Aviva and Aegon with gold in its 2019 product and operational ratings for workplace pensions and auto-enrolment.
Both platform giants won gold for product and operational rating categories, as did life insurance and investment giant Royal London and life insurance and pensions provider Scottish Widows.
First-timer True Potential was awarded gold for workplace and pensions and for auto-enrolment. Hargreaves Lansdown also achieved gold.
The ratings were designed to assist advisers and employers in their decision-making process, by showing which providers have the greatest strengths in different areas.
The auto-enrolment and workplace pension ratings are allocated in addition to overall ratings from FTRC.
In workplace pensions, the company looked at areas such as online facilities, product offering and administration, and scheme setup. Financial wellness was the latest area to be considered in this category.
For auto-enrolment, areas include proposition design and preparation service, auto-enrolment governance, and data ownership and protection. The People’s Pension won bronze for both categories.
FTRC said Legal & General and Fidelity did not take part in the process.
‘Richer support services’
FTRC head of workplace research Jason Green (pictured) said: “As new auto-enrolment business has ended, most providers are now looking to ensure they retain their existing customers, while actively looking to grow their book by the transfer of existing established schemes.”
He added: “The granularity of research enables us to identify significant variation in the level of services provided by different types of workplace pensions providers, with firms operating in the contract-based arena generally delivering richer support services.”
Green said FTRC had created the ratings to help employers and advisers make the right decisions when choosing a pension provider.